Argentina takes on the visitors Iceland at “Otkrytiye Arena” in the round one of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group stage. The match will be played in Moscow on Saturday, June 16th.
Argentina is the side with the astonishing attacking facilities and huge problems in defense. And Jorge Sampaoli’s appointment only deepened that diversity as his football philosophy is a breath-taking, spectacular and bright game in an extremely high tempo. The Argentines use rigorous pressure and high defense that do not correspond to the squad’s particularities and cause smashing defeats from Spain 1:6 and Nigeria 2:4. Taking into account that Jorge Sampaoli has not solved an issue with a main defensive midfielder while the full backs are too slow and make too many mistakes as well as an injury of the main goalkeeper, I believe that Argentine will concede goals regularly at the forthcoming Mundial. At the same time if “La Albiceleste” is on a roll, it would be capable to score a lot to any rival. And in general, the side is under estimated at this World Cup as the team has reached finals in three previous major tournaments (the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, the 2015 Copa America and the 2016 Copa America) plus scored 20 goals in nine encounters conducted at the group stages, having failed not a single time in them.
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Meanwhile, despite its old school, plain and extremely defensive football, Iceland rarely leaves a pitch without a single scored goal. The Icelanders scored goals in all five clashes played at the UEFA EURO 2016. Afterwards “Strakarnir okkar” scored 16 goals in Group I of the Europe’s Qualifiers Group stage for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia which was the best result in the group. The Icelanders’ long-ball game in combination with awesome physical conditions may bring success in the first round as they have true masters of the set pieces in the roster as well as feel remarkably comfortable in the air. Still, in its recent battles Iceland disappointed greatly with the performance in defense, having conceded 11 goals in four tackles.
To sum up the stated above, Iceland will search for its moments in counter-attacks, realizing that the Argentines are very vulnerable in defense, however, basing on their latest encounters, “The Vikings” will not be able to avoid several goals conceded, consequently, I expect for a feast of goals in the forthcoming fight.
Prediction for the match: Over 2.0 scored goals.